Hanover Parish Council official: Royalton workers must still be paid
The Hanover Parish Development Committee's representative on the Hanover Parish Council's Planning Committee, Nerris Hawthorne, is adamant that the several hundred construction workers employed to the Royalton Negril worksite should continue to receive their weekly wages throughout the month-long closure of the project.
The site, which is located at Rutland Point in Negril, Hanover, was ordered closed by Minister of Local Government Desmond McKenzie, following the collapse of a section of the building early Tuesday morning. Five workmen were injured during the incident.
On Tuesday afternoon, workmen from the site, some from as far away as Ocho Rios, St Ann, told The Gleaner that they were not sure of their next move as they had been advised by their supervisors that they would have to remain off the job because the site is now closed until further notice. But this state of affairs does not sit well with Hawthorne.
"The workers should not have to lose their wages. Why should they have to lose their wages? If something happened there, that is their (Royalton's) fault, they should continue to pay them their wages. They didn't do anything wrong, so we would expect that they will not be left without wages," Hawthorne said.
Hawthorne, who is also a former president of the Hanover Chamber of Commerce, said any decision not to pay the workers would be "absolutely ridiculous".
"Isn't that place insured? If the management will not pay out of pocket, surely they must have an insurance which covers such eventualities. And therefore, the workers must be paid from some insurance policy. It's all to do with safety at work. Isn't there anything here that deals with safety at work? It would be blatantly unjust. In my view, the workers should be paid for as long as it takes for things to be restored; and there are no two ways about it," she declared.
"They (workers) did not do anything wrong. They are not at fault in any way, so they cannot be made to suffer. If so, then all of them should go on strike, or leave the building all together and let the management build it themselves," she added.